Friday, July 03, 2009

A Blind Man Teaches How To See

A ray of light for a dark world, through the eyes of a blind man who gets to see his wife for the first time: "When I found out there was a chance I would get my sight back the first person I wanted to see was her."
"The doctors took the bandages off and it was like looking through water and then I saw this figure and it was her," he said today.
"She's wonderful and lovely. It was unbelievable to see her for the first time."
"I feel fantastic getting my sight back,' he said. 'I can't really describe it -- it's beyond words. I was blind for 12 years and when my sight came back everything had changed.
"Getting my sight back has changed my life. It is such a precious gift and you don't really appreciate it until it is taken away.
"I have been so fortunate that my sight has been returned. I find it such a simple pleasure being able to see what is going on in the world."
The article in the Daily Mail carries much detail on the remarkable operation that restored sight to the former builder: amazingly, he owes his renewed vision to a tooth implanted into his eye!
The process requires a living tooth as an implant because doctors suggest there are chances the eye would reject a plastic equivalent.
So a canine - which is the best option due to its shape and size - was taken out of Mr Jones' mouth.
A patch of skin is then taken from the inside of the cheek and placed in the eye for two months, where it gradually acquires its own blood supply.
The tooth segment is finally transplanted into the eye socket. The flap of grafted skin is then partially lifted from the eye and placed over its new sturdy base.
Finally, surgeons cut a hole in the grafted cornea to let light through.

As incredible an account as this story is, it still seems like there's a book's worth of drama left unexplored here: how did the blinded builder meet the woman who became his wife? How does she feel about suddenly being seen by her beloved husband? What was it like to look into her eyes for the first time, and to see her looking at him? He's in a position to dare to describe the most joyous side to the human experience: what it's like to experience the love we can summon for one another.

Clouded as our lives tend to be by tragedy and suffering, it takes an act of will to continue to see through all that misery to the splendor our world also has to offer. When our heart aches from seeing good men suffer, when our soul cries in despair from the weight of the injustice suffocating our earthly existence, we need the humble perceptions of the Mr. Jones' of the world as much as we need food and drink; if ever anyone could make a difference through a blog, and hope to teach today's cynics how to look a second time at what's really going on around them, it's this middle-aged husband from south Yorkshire.

For all the power of our language, no mere words alone can faithfully paint a proper picture of what it means to live life; presumably this is why we have stories. After all, what does it mean to say that life is worth living, what does it amount to, to merely say that the secret path to finding Happiness is to search for the Good, when through stories like this one, we can show it.

And, hopefully, through such stories we pessimists can come to appreciate the great garden of wonder we still get to walk through, no matter our difficulties; where even a simple rock can offer a world of detail to marvel over, providing we leave ourselves open to observing it all.

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